GSU

A Year After Graduation

May 6, 2012 I graduated from college. I wasn’t to thrilled about it. I didn’t want to attend the graduation ceremony, because I didn’t care. I borrowed my sisters cap and gown from two years before because, I didn’t care. Honestly, I hate impersonal ceremonies. Some would say I did a lot with my college career, but all of it is just fluff. I only attended because my family asked me to. I would have been content staying home or just going about my normal Sunday routine. I hate the pomp and circumstance of it all. I know for some people it is momentous because they are the first in their family to graduate from college, or it took them a long time to complete college. However, I just didn’t think much of college. I have a degree in Psychology (which means nothing, just ask all the psychology majors who didn’t get into PhD or PsyD or Counseling programs). Honestly, I don’t think it mattered because nothing in college really shaped me. Honestly, I feel like all of it (jobs, classes, people, friends) were experiences that are rapidly fading into the nether regions of my brain. Gosh, that was harsh.

We do the same thing in college that we do in high school. We climb social ladders that lead to nowhere. I did it as well. In college I associated myself with the Incept office as if I had nothing else to offer the world. I mean that is what I did for three years in college and the truth is none of that matters. I bought into this lie that if people know me that it is something special. It’s not. The more people who know you; the more people who don’t actually know you. I graduated and Incept and where I worked on campus and anything related to Georgia State (including my degree) did not mean squat. In the next few days people will get the harsh realization that everything that invested in means nothing outside the context of college. You know maybe if I had a more carefree personality I would feel differently, but I hate believing people do things without purpose. Look, I don’t regret going to college and look forward to attending seminary, but I don’t look back a year ago and wish I had mustered up more excitement for the graduation.Truth be told, the last “academic year” of my life has taught me more applicable skills that any on campus job or student organization.

I am a relational person. I love people. I will always love people. I am the person who goes into a job and wants to have deep friendships with my coworkers. I don’t like shallow. I like real problems and real people. Jobs will come and go, but people are a constant in the world. So would you rather use all your energy and resources in roles or in relationships?

I have had a new sort of education since last September. If there was a title to the courses, I would call it Relational Management 4000, because it is not easy. I spent 6 months of my time in Houston as a foster parent working for a nonprofit managing the relationship I have between myself and my kids and myself and my coworkers. Not easy, but in time it leveled. I loved learning with them. Everyone was so open to the experience that in time our constant was splendid. However, the second semester rolled around April 10th, and the classes got harder. Managing the relationship between me and my kids is pretty fantastic, but myself and coworkers is harder because I am readjusting to new people with different personalities, and I have two new classes: being in charge and managing relationships between myself and administration. I wouldn’t change it for the world though. God used the time in my old house to pull out some roots of pride in my life. I am forever grateful for my old house. In this new home, I am learning a lot as well. God is not withholding anything to teach me patience. Obviously, I am calling on Him more frequently.

A lot of my class time is working everyday with my kids. Since I have been here I have had 15 children in my care. Fifteen. College is not a reflection of who you are. You are not members of an organization or on executive boards or in a fraternity honestly there comes a day where none of that matters. My fifteen kids have been a mirror reflecting back who I am. With my kids it is not about the role I play, but about engaging with them as Tosin. I value this past academic year in Houston more than my four in college. I don’t regret the people I met or the work I did, but it was so embedded in the mantra of networking that you have to question the motivation of people’s interactions with you. With my fifteen it is not about networking or who I can use as a reference or any other self-seeking relationship. It is about them and about how I live out my life for them. It is about loving them for who they are. It is about loving them for surviving. It is about humility and grace. It is about abounding in love when you are so burnt out. It is about long days filled to the brim with tantrums and longer nights with newborns. It is about living not for yourself. College was all about me. This has nothing to do with me. I am merely a piece in this puzzle. I genuinely love what I do. I love my kids. It is not simply volunteering; I am parenting and this time has shaped me.

It is harder than psychological research methods. It is not clear and clean-cut. It is messy, and still I get to see beauty in my children. You have not lived and you have learned NOTHING until you live a life that is not about you.

God, I pray for all the people I know graduating. God just make your plans clear for them. Some people are disappointed about not getting into the program they want or not getting the job they want. God, I know first hand Your plans are better than my plans. I know nothing about life, but what You have mad e clear to me. Direct them as well. As, some people are made freshly aware that they are at the bottom all over again use this time of humility to teach them.

God thank you for my time at Georgia State. I am not ungrateful for that time. It served a purpose and brought me closer to You. However, I do not cling to it. It is not the best days. There are many more days to come. You have taught me more that I could learn in the past 8 months, and I look forward to all that I have left to learn. Make me quick to hear and slow to speak. Thank you for everything.

Amen.

Advertisements

Bunnies, Racism, and All Things Cute and Cuddly

***This blog post while not vulgar may be offensive. Please know it was not written for offense, but for clarity and understanding. My intentions were not to harm, but to open up a discussion with a stating of my perspective*** (more…)

Fleeting Friendships

For the past three months, I have struggled to confront a former friend of a mindless indiscretion surrounding a birthday party. Which all in all makes me question the nature of my collegiate friendships.

I think for most of college I was pretty lonely. I had friends I think. I was an Orientation Leader, which puts you in the spotlight. The girls I roomed with that summer quickly became who I considered my college friends…well plus one minus one. However, as I began to prepare to lay in bed I realized the nature of those relationships were based on an improper assumption. I believe that their view of me was much lesser than I view I had of myself. Maybe since I’ve moved, my view has adjusted.

Since, I graduated in May I began resenting my time in college. The same way I resented my time in high school when I graduated, but I don’t really resent that time. I don’t resent the people I knew there. I don’t resent the relationships that I had. Notice the past tense. I have avoided asking K about the birthday incident because I wanted to spare our friendship, but what sort of friendship do we have? An insignificant one. We are not entirely necessary to one another anymore.

Yet, I am still grateful for that summer with her. She is still one of the most beautiful people I know who constantly is selling herself for much lesser than her real value. She is smart and hilarious and defensively strong. She was a dear friend; I have mourned the loss between us. Nevertheless, I am going to must my courage and ask. She owes me an answer.

A Flower in Failure Forest

No one has asked how I came to be a communal foster parent, but I will share.

T’was a beautiful evening in April when I learned of my rejection from Mental Health Counseling Program at Georgia State University. I was wrecked. I thought it was a sure thing. I made it past the application and kicked tail at the interview. It was the middle of the night and I just thought to check my application status. I thought it was a dream. I had to look again in the morning. There on the screen in Ariel font: Application Denied.

Rejection hurts. It hurts when it is from a person, but the tinge is more severe when it is from a program. Even when I have felt completely monstrous  I knew I was smart. At times, I let go of the idea that I am pretty to focus completely on my intelligence. In that moment, a solid foundation crumbled. I graduated in a month. I didn’t know what to do. Georgia State was the one. It was the only school where I applied. I knew I would get a graduate assistantship there. It was a 100% sure thing. Yeah, it was not.

We live in a society that has taught us to fear failure. I think it is because we have tied our self-worth to our personal success. This is a dangerous dilemma. As humans we are going to fail. With this premise in mind, it means with every failure that is bound to happen we will suffer a devastating loss of our self-worth.

I mourned for a week. I failed. I was a failure. Then, the most overused graduation scripture came into my mind. Take a guess. Yep, Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

I studied the context of the scripture and began repeat it to myself in moments of sadness. When negative thoughts plagued my mind reminding me of the uncertainty of tomorrow. I would converse and say, “God, knows the plans for me. He has plans for me. His plans give me hope and create a future for me. He would never harm me.” Those words were written on my laptop, in my room, and most importantly on my heart.

I ended my undergraduate career with two maymester courses. During that time, I looked on my university’s career website and it listed an opportunity to work in a communal foster care setting. I knew I needed to apply, despite that I was a Georgia native and it would take me halfway across the country. The application was long, and forced me to revisit painful sections of my life, but I completed it. 

June 20th, I received a phone call accepting me into the year-long internship.

I traversed through the forest of failure (rejection) to grasp a flower (internship) for my future.

It was in fact this event that inspired me for my blog. Years, I have had my life planned.

  1. Elementary School
  2. Middle School
  3. High School
  4. College
  5. Master’s
  6. Marriage
  7. Doctorate
  8. Adopted Child
  9. Biological Child
  10. Adopted Child

Due to the interruption on step five, I have let go of the idea of a linear life. I want a life that is mine. I don’t have much time on this earth and the Lord is coming soon. Praise, He is coming soon. I submit my life to Christ and for me it means my life will not be typical. My life will not be in a numerical order, it will be in bullet points with God directing me to my next step. I love it. I love it. I love it. I love it.

God, thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for everything you are doing with my life. Thank you for being denied from graduate school. I didn’t know what you would have in store, but this is your will and this is what you want. Thank you God for protecting Your will for me. I don’t know what my life will be. I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but I am so glad you are for me and with. I would not want to do life with anyone else, but you. I adore you. (heavenly language)

In Your Name,

Amen